With its opening ceremony on February 9 and closing ceremony on February 25, 2018's Winter Olympics have come and gone. The worldwide tradition, comprised of winter-themed sports, is a chance for athletes to represent their countries and compete. Its outcome in Pyeongchang left the world in wonder, and events ranging from new sports to broken records made this year's Winter Olympics one to remember.
Winter Olympics is distinguished by its many winter-style sports. Some sports have been in the Winter Olympics since its beginning in 1924, while new sports have been introduced just this year. Figure skating and ice hockey are two of the oldest winter sports and were among the nine original sports in the lineup of the first Winter Olympics. Snowboarding big air, mixed doubles curling, mixed team alpine skiing, and mass start speed skating made their Olympic debut this year. Currently, the Winter Olympics has 102 events in total, with an expected 108 by 2022. The events of the Winter Olympics are favorites around the world, made popular by the talented and elite athletes that make each sport unique.
Many athletes in these Olympics have caught the world's attention, from their record-breaking performances to their mustaches or fun comments on social media. Multiple athletes were defending a streak, some surprised the world with a win, while others won the hearts of fans with their spirit. Adam Rippon, Nathan Chen, Red Gerard, Robert Johansson, Chloe Kim, Maame Biney, Ryan Donato, Eeli Tolvanen, the 'Shib Sibs', Ester Ledecka, and Alina Zagitova are just a few examples of 2018's Olympic stars, and anyone who had watched the Winter Olympics would recognize these famed names.
These stars have broken numerous records in these Winter Olympics. In fact, twelve Olympic records and three world records were set during the competition. Norway, considered one of the leading countries in the Games, lived up to its reputation. The country won 39 medals, breaking the U.S. record for the number of medals won in the Winter Olympics. Other popular Winter Olympic records were youngest snowboarding female gold medalist, most medals won individually, most Winter Olympic appearances by an athlete, highest score in figure skating, and the first woman to win individual gold medals in different sports.
Although the Winter Olympics created Olympic stars, not every athlete experienced the same success. With ‘Olympic fails' ranging from dress malfunctions to mass crashes, the Winter Olympics did not go as planned for some athletes. These mishaps can happen to any Olympian, whether they are a new or returning competitor. Nathan Chen, an undefeated skater coming into the Olympics, made his Olympic debut this year. His first Olympic event, the team competition, was error-prone, but Chen's team managed to earn bronze regardless of his mistakes. Chen's second event, the short program, was even more disastrous and landed him in 17th place. “Honestly, it was bad,” Chen said afterward. “I made as many mistakes as I possibly could have.” Despite this, Chen put on a show in the free skate, landing six quads and posting the top score in that event. Although Chen did not earn gold, he showed the world how one could go from an 'Olympic fail' to an 'Olympic star.'
With unique sports and events, elite athletes, inevitable mistakes, and broken records, the Winter Olympics of 2018 leave us in awe, making way for its much-anticipated continuation in 2022.